Chourico and Three bean soup
This is a hearty and moderately spicy soup that is great with crusty bread on a cold and rainy day.
It is a super easy soup to make and I keep it on a simmer all day so I can enjoy it through out the day. It makes a great meal by itself.
Chourico is a Portuguese sausage similar to the Spanish sausage Chorizo. It is pronounced “Chourees”. It is available in some supermarkets and gourmet shops. It is in every market in Rhode Island and the Fall River, Massachusetts area. If you can’t find it, Chorizo is a fine substitute as is andouille sausage. You can reduce the spiciness of the soup by reducing or eliminating the chili powder and using a sausage that is milder than Chourico. A high quality kielbasa from a local pork store would likely work well for a mild soup.
Other than the sausage, the ingredients are pantry staples.
1 cup of unsalted butter
1 cup of all purpose flour
12 cups low fat, low sodium chicken broth
1 Medium yellow onion, cut in half, peeled and sliced thin.
1 16 oz can of red beans, drained and rinsed
1 16 oz can of great northern beans (white), drained and rinsed
1 16 oz can of black beans drained and rinsed
1 28 oz can crushed tomatos
4 bay leaves
2 pounds Chourico, un-sliced
1 tablespoon of mild paprika (use hot if that is the way your tastes run)
1 tablespoon chili powder (more or less to taste)
Salt and black pepper to taste
1 pound of Ditalini 40 pasta, cooked.
Making the soup:
In a 10 quart sauce pan:
Melt the butter over high heat. Do not let the butter burn! As soon as the butter is melted, add the 1 cup of flour all at once. With a stiff whisk, stir in the flour, incorporate well and toss in the sliced onion. Keep stirring until the roux turns medium amber, about the shade of peanut butter. This should take 15 to 20 minutes. The onions should be well wilted.
Add the chicken broth, crushed tomatoes, and all three cans of beans (remember, drained and rinsed). Add the bay leaves and the spices. Remember how many bay leaves you put in so you can fish them out later!
Stir well and bring the soup to a boil and remember to keep stirring so none of the good stuff sticks to the bottom. Reduce to a medium simmer. Add the Chourico whole to the pot and let the sausage cook in the soup for 20 minutes or so. Remove the Chourico from the pot and cut in to ¼ inch thick slices and return to the pot.
Allow to simmer in a covered pot for another hour, stirring frequently. Remove the bay leaves
While the soup is simmering, cook the ditalini.
To serve, place a helping of noodles at the bottom of the bowl and ladle in the soup. Give a stir to incorporate the noodles and serve. I put a bottle of Tabasco Sauce on the table for those guests that like some extra life to their foods (such as me).